Alan Tomkins, J.D., Ph.D. Professor, Department of Psychology Director, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Public Policy Center
Alan Tomkins is founding director of the Public Policy Center. His research interests include trust in government; examining effective public participation and science communication; and understanding distrust and unauthorized online activities, such as hacking. In addition, he has been consulting with local, state, and federal government entities on participatory budgeting, strategic planning, performance measure options, workplace climate, resident input on policy decisions, and so on. From 2007-14, he served as co-editor of Court Review, the journal of the American Judges Association. Previously, he served as co-editor and then editor of the interdisciplinary journal Behavioral Sciences & the Law. Tomkins has also served on the editorial board for Law and Human Behavior and Expert Evidence: The International Digest of Human Behaviour Science and Law. He is a fellow of the American-Psychology Law Society and the Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues.
Tomkins received a bachelor’s degree from Boston University with a joint major in psychology and philosophy. He earned his law degree and doctorate in social psychology from Washington University in St. Louis. Tomkins joined the faculty of the Law/Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1986. Prior to coming to UNL, he was a research associate at the Federal Judicial Center, a visiting assistant professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a Research Assistant Professor at St. Louis University.
Tomkins also has served as a visiting professor of law at the University of Southampton, England, and as a visiting scholar of psychology at Yonsei University, South Korea. From 2005-06, he served as a William J. Clinton Distinguished Fellow at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service while also continuing as director the Public Policy Center, and in 2011 he served as Franklin Fellow and Senior Advisor for the U.S. Department of State while also continuing as director the Center. He currently is on leave from UNL and is serving as deputy division director, social and economic sciences, with the National Science Foundation. While he is with NSF, Nancy Shank is acting director of the Public Policy Center.